Self-love is a strange concept to wrap your mind around.
What is self-love exactly?
Why does it matter?
And isn't being a human hard enough as it is without feeling the need to schedule time to love yourself?
Today you're going to learn why self-love is so important and how you can easily create a journaling practice that brings you more joy in life.
At its most basic, self-love journaling is writing or typing in ways to generate more love for yourself.
A self-love journal falls under the larger umbrella of mental health journals, but it's specifically tailored to help a journaler reflect and develop self-compassion as part of overall personal wellness.
Some people only need a blank page in a journal to start writing kind words about themselves.
Other people might find self-love journal prompts helpful.
The key thing to remember is that there is no one right way to focus on self-love in a journal.
The activities you use are simply the way you learn about yourself and figure out what it takes to feel more compassion for yourself.
A journal can take the form of a physical book.
Or it can take the shape of a digital journal, like the one we created with Reflection.app.
What your journal looks like is a matter of personal preference.
The journal itself is just the vessel, a container that carries you through the journey of getting to know yourself better.
One quick aside: you may have also heard of keeping a self-care journal.
While a self-care journal can be similar to a self-love journal, the focus of self-care is to do certain activities that keep you balanced and healthy over long periods of time.
This could mean reflecting on what self-care means to you, reflecting on self-care with prompts, or using writing itself as a form of self-care.
The explicit purpose of a self-love journal is to generate more love for yourself by learning the underrated art and practice that is self-reflection.
But why self-reflection?
We built Reflection.app because we know how powerful and uplifting it has been for us to establish self-reflection and journaling habits in our own lives.
And it's not just us saying that.
The link between mental health and journaling has been known for years.
What's interesting about self-reflection is that it encourages you to get to know yourself better.
It puts you in a position to step back from your thoughts and experiences.
And it's by getting distance from your thoughts and the stories you tell yourself that you can objectively analyze the ups and downs of your life.
The reality is that it's hard to develop kindness for yourself when you're enmeshed in the daily barrage of your experiences and the thoughts and feelings that those experiences generate.
Like receiving encouragement or insightful guidance from a friend or family member, writing in a self-love journal gives you the opportunity to see yourself and your life in a new light.
Journal prompts are usually the easiest entry point to self-love journaling, and our journaling app, Reflection.app, has plenty of them.
If you want to test out self-love journaling for yourself, take five minutes now or later today to write about one of these self-love journal prompts:
1. Who am I when I feel the most love in my life?
2. Who am I at my best?
3. What do I love doing more than anything in the world?
4. When do I feel most at peace?
5. What are my best qualities?
People who find it difficult to love themselves are often dealing with limiting beliefs about who they are and what they deserve.
A self-love journaling prompt just might create the shift in mindset you've been looking for.
Self-love journaling is especially powerful because it creates a safe space for you to challenge and upgrade the damaging beliefs that create a disempowering mindset.
In this video below, Mindspo gives us a thought-provoking wrap-up of Brené Brown's Top 10 Tips for Self-Love.
Could loving yourself be bad?
It's a strange question, but it appears there may be times when you don't want to force love on yourself.
"Force" is the key word there. It's hard to generate any emotion on demand, and that's the same for self-love.
Plus, as mentioned by James Pennebaker in Expressive Writing: Words That Heal, trying to process a recent trauma is not helpful no matter which emotion you're trying to experience.
Beyond that, we're sure you've experienced what it's like when someone tries to push positive affirmations on you. It just doesn't feel good to be told "Just think positively! Everything happens for a reason!" when all you want to do is curl up into a ball and sleep.
Plus, it's important to remember that permanent self-love is not the goal.
No one is capable of always living in a blissed-out state of self-compassion.
Even monks who have practiced meditation for decades would tell you that the point of meditation is not to force yourself into a certain state of being--it's to allow yourself to accept and be at peace with whatever emotions bubble to the surface.
You can think of self-reflection while journaling as a sort of written meditation.
When you put your thoughts to paper or screen, what you're doing is learning to process and accept your feelings from a healthy distance.
Think you could use some more self-love in your life?
Why not give Reflection.app a try?
It's free to use and takes only a minute to sign up and start writing.
We also have a specific guide that walks you through how to generate more self-compassion for yourself and general compassion for others.
Click here to learn more and get the self-love that you deserve.